OSINT Toolkit: How to Monitor an Influence War
Coordinated harmful activity is designed to patrol the borders of a narrative and punish outliers. Hoaxy is a great way to watch it in real time.
Hoaxy is a free tool that you can use to search and graph any tweet that includes a particular search term:
I wanted to see how things were going on Twitter and searched my last name. The two green bubbles are people who shared my articles which were retweeted by others. Normal Twitter activity — sharing information.
The red bubble… is different. A complete different world. This is a LARP — a live action role play by a bunch of people who want me silenced. I will call the LARP “Jim Is Dangerous And Unwell” — JIDAU for short.
Here’s JIDAU zoomed in. Wow! That’s a lot of people talking about me. Shockingly, I recognize most of these accounts as inauthentic. Not all of them, but the vast majority.
Zooming out a bit in Hoaxy is helpful! It shows the JIDAU accounts that are generating the most mentions of my name for the LARP. Each of them is what is called a “single purpose hate account.” They are paid to do nothing but create deceptive, negative content about a target.
FYI, I have two articles queued up. They are called “Harvard, Did You Drop This?” and “Anteefer.”
So, there are dozens of people participating in JIDAU as you can see from the charts. It’s fascinating in a way, but also designed to discredit and silence me so it’s no fun at all. In all seriousness, this is coordinated harmful activity by the very definition of the Twitter Rules, but there is no way to report it. Please share any of my articles that you think might be helpful.